Sharing Actively Information among Competent Authorities in case of Abnormal Observations

In autumn 2017, ruthenium-106 was detected in samples of airborne and deposited radioactivity in Europe. Within an informal group of experts (Ro5; Ring of Five) there was an active exchange of information. Monitoring data showed that Ru was detected in wide area. Many countries published their own measurement on their own web sites but did not report the results in USIE. Media interest was high.

HERCA, has the objective to contribute to a high level of radiological protection throughout Europe and is an important forum for rapid and informal exchange of information of common interest.

HERCA interacts with several stakeholders, including the European Commission (EC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R).

In 2013, HERCA issued “Practical proposals for further harmonisation of the reactions in European countries to any distant nuclear or radiological emergency” to assist competent authorities in (EP&R) to provide an overview of the important radiological issues to be considered by competent authorities in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency in a distant country.

In 2014, HERCA and WENRA associations approved an Integrated/Common “HERCA-WENRA Approach for better cross-border coordination of protective actions during the early phase of a nuclear accident”. This approach contains overarching principles and provides an incentive for joint actions between neighbouring countries.

Despite a very fruitful cooperation in force between HERCA members and its major stakeholders, HERCA as such should not substitute to other existing official exchange platforms such as ECURIE from EC and USIE from IAEA. Furthermore, HERCA should not take active role in the response process.

In the light of the Ru-106 release event, HERCA members are invited to share actively future monitoring results in USIE and ECURIE when clearly abnormal observations[1] are made to ensure wider information exchange among competent authorities and to ensure that all counterparts are informed.

[1] abnormal observations as described in the IAEA EPR-IECom 2012 and ECURIE Communication Instructions, 2018  


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